Andrew Gillum Joins CNN as Ethics Probe Proceeds

Former Democratic Tallahassee mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum joined CNN as a political commentator Tuesday, just days after a state ethics commission found probable cause to proceed with an investigation into his accepting gifts on numerous trips with lobbyists in 2016.

The Florida ethics commission announced Friday that it will look into whether Gillum violated the law by accepting gifts during trips he took to New York and Costa Rica in 2016 with his long-time friend, lobbyist Adam Corey.

Gillum’s attorney, Barry Richard, told reporters Friday that an administrative-law judge would likely hear the case in the next 30 to 45 days.

“We’re going to have a full evidentiary hearing before an independent judge. It’ll be open to the public, and everybody can decide for themselves,” Richard said following a closed-door hearing at the Florida First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. “There for sure will be no settlement.”

The ethics complaint, filed by a Tallahassee businessman, alleges that while in New York with his brother and Corey, Gillum accepted tickets to a Broadway production of Hamilton that were provided by an undercover FBI agent then posing as a land developer as part of a corruption probe. While Gillum claims he believed his brother bought the ticket, text messages released by the ethics commission in October revealed that he was aware of the tickets’ origins when they were given to him.

The complaint further alleges that Corey provided Gillum and his wife with airfare and lodging during a trip to Costa Rica in 2016. During his gubernatorial run, Gillum repeatedly claimed that he reimbursed Corey for the cost of the trip, but invoices released along with the text messages revealed that Corey’s accountant never billed Gillum.

The FBI has not filed any charges against Gillum in the probe, which led to the filing of bribery and racketeering charges against former Tallahassee city commissioner Scott Maddox in December.

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